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Home Buying Process

Below is our step by step guide to the home buying process. Click on any Link or scroll down to see each step.

Getting Ready to Buy Finding a Realtor Starting the Loan Process. Starting your Search Finding your new home or condo Making an offer on a Home Financing Insurance Closing Procedures Settling In

Getting Ready to Buy

So you are ready to buy a home or condominium? Preparing to buy home can be both exciting and terrifying at the same time. A PURE agent can lead you in the right direction toward the home and lifestyle you are looking for. Some questions you may want to ask yourself include:

  • What are you looking for in a new home or condo?
  • Do you have enough money to purchase a home or condo?
  • How is your credit?

In starting your search, it is a good idea to make a list of amenities that you would like in a home or condo. When looking for homes you may not find everything you want in your price range. It is helpful rank the importance of the different features you are seeking so that you are concentrating on the most important ones.

Finding a Realtor

When looking for a Realtor it is important to find someone with experience and knowledge of the real estate process, familiarity with the neighborhoods you are interested and a person that you feel comfortable working with. A Realtor should be a resource for you, offer you guidance and be there to explain the different steps in a real estate transaction.

Questions to ask a potential Realtor:

  • How many years experience do you have as a Realtor?
  • What is your selling experience in the neighborhoods I am interested in?
  • What services will you provide me as my agent?
  • How will you represent me as a buyer?
  • What is your fee for services?
  • Can you explain the different paperwork I will need to fill out?
  • Is there a contracted timeframe for using you as my agent?

Once you have chosen an agent, let them know what your goals are in a finding a home, the best way to communicate with you, your expectations of them and your timeframe.

Starting the Loan Process.

Before you start looking at homes it is important to know what you qualify for in a mortgage and to obtain a pre-approval from a lender. With this knowledge you can tailor your search specifically to home or condos in your price range.

The pre-approval process is when a lender looks at all of your finances and determines the amount of money you are able to afford in a mortgage. A pre-approval is an important tool that serves multiple purposes. For one, it lets your Realtor know what price range in which you are able to buy a home. It also tells potential sellers that you are a serious buyer and that you are qualified to purchase the home you are making an offer on.

To obtain a pre-approval, you need to contact a reputable lender. Ask your agent to suggest reputable lenders. Different lenders offer different programs that can best suit your needs. Talk to a few lenders, tell them your situation and work with the one that you are most comfortable with. If you are unable to get a loan at this time, ask your Realtor for a referral to a homebuyer counseling program which may help you in getting your finances and credit score into a position that will be attractive to lenders.

Starting your Search

Now that you have found a Realtor and have a pre-approval in hand it is time to start looking! Some things you may ask yourself before you start:

  • What type of amenities do I want in a neighborhood (walkable, close to restaurants, parks, etc)?
  • How close do I want to be to my job?
  • What style house are you attracted to?
  • Do desire a home with a yard or a low maintenance townhouse or condo?
  • What amenities do you desire in a home (garage, fireplace, fenced yard, etc)?

Ask your agent to send you a list of homes in different areas with different amenities so you can see what you can afford in different neighborhoods. Once you start driving by homes and checking out neighborhoods you will begin to narrow down your search.

Finding your new home or condo.

Beginning the search for your new home can be exciting. It is important to remember to communicate your likes and dislikes with your agent. Keeping your agent up to date will ensure that everyone is on the same page with your search and create a more pleasant home finding experience.

As your search progresses you may want to list the features and benefits of the different homes that you are considering and ranking them accordingly. Categories can include:

  • Location
  • Affordability
  • Size
  • Style
  • Design
  • Amenities

If you like a home or condo but are unsure of the area take some time to come back and walk around, drop in on the local coffee shop or have dinner in a local eatery. An agent can direct you but only you can decide if you are comfortable in a certain neighborhood.

Making an offer on a Home

The process of selecting a home begins to get easier once a home meets your specifications. You may also get the feeling that this is the one. You should inform your agent your specific likes and dislikes about the property. All of this information is useful in the negotiation process.

Once you have decided to make an offer, sit down with your agent and go over the purchase agreement. In the purchase agreement you offer what price you are willing to pay for the property and disclose what terms and conditions that are acceptable to you. This is the start of the negotiation process. All items that are not under government regulation are open to negotiation. Your agent should be able to guide you through what the typical terms are for a purchase in your neighborhood.


Doing your homework about loans will save you time and money. There are thousands of loans out there to choose from, but they may not all be right for you or the property that you are interested in. Things to consider when thinking about financing:

  • How much money are you willing or able to use for a down payment?
  • Are you a first time home buyer?
  • How is your credit?
  • Are you buying a fixer upper?
  • Are you buying in an area that has any special incentives such as:
    • Tax abatement.
    • Reduced rate financing.
    • Help for closing costs.
    • Reduced down payment requirements.

Receiving a loan requires the completion of a loan application and specific financial documents including pay stubs, rental checks, tax returns etc. Ask your Realtor for a list of loan officers or mortgage brokers who may have programs that best fit your needs.


Insuring your home is not only smart, but certain types are required by your lender.

There are many different forms of insurance:

  • Title Insurance is required by the lender and protects you in the event that the title on your property has a lien, unpaid taxes or other legal problems that would make your title invalid.
  • Homeowners Insurance is required by the lender and protects your investment in the case of fire, theft or other damage. Liability would also be included to protect you in the case that someone is injured on your property or something on your property causes damage to someone elseâ��s property.
  • Flood Insurance may be required depending if your home is located in a flood zone or not.
  • Home Warranty is an optional form of insurance that protects the buyer should something unexpected happen within a certain period of time after the home transfers. This warranty can be purchased by the buyer or provided by the seller. Items likely covered include appliances, heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems. Read any warranty carefully to see what is covered and how it works if you need to use it. Most new construction homes and condos will offer some type of warranty from the builder.

Closing Procedures

The closing process, also called settlement or escrow, is the transfer of the title of the property from the seller to the buyer. The buyer receives keys to the home, typically after everything has been recorded at the county, while the seller receives payment for the property. The amount the seller receives is based upon the amount that they may still owe on a mortgage, any outstanding fees or taxes and additional closing costs. In Northeast Ohio it is typical for buyers and sellers to sign paperwork on their own with a closing agent scheduled by the title/escrow company. Other parts of the state have a round table closing in which buyer and seller and the closing agent are all present for the signing of the documents. It is important that both buyer and seller make sure that the paperwork they are signing accurately reflects the final agreement that was reached for the sale.

Closings usually take 30 days from the final purchase agreement. Timing typically depends on the buyer�s financing availability, successful home inspection and various lender conditions such as title search, title insurance, pest inspections, surveys, appraisals and repairs. The seller may also have reasons for wanting a specific closing date, but this should all be negotiated at the time of purchase.

Settling In

You have unpacked your boxes, arranged your furniture and completed all of your moving tasks. What�s next? There is always an adjustment period when you move. It is important to know that what you, your spouse and/or children may be feeling is completely normal. A few things that may help include:

  • Urge everyone to talk about how they are feeling.
  • Make a point of checking out your new neighborhood.
  • Contact friends and relatives letting them know about your new home and neighborhood.

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